Business owners have many expenses and duties they need to oversee while running their business. Although it may not be so apparent, adding an attorney to those costs is a very smart move to make. As you consider your decision of whether to retain an attorney, we want to share some helpful information about the top five (5) mistaken beliefs business owners may have about attorneys:
1. Mistaken Belief #1: Hiring an attorney is a bad investment because it simply costs money and does not add value to the business. A quick read of our book, The Danger Zones, can quickly dispel this incorrect notion and demonstrate why proactively investing in the right legal counsel for your business can be a tremendous value-add. Once you retain us, we conduct a Danger Zones diagnostic for your business to identify the legal Danger Zones your business may be in.
2. Mistaken Belief #2: There’s no reason to hire an attorney at this time. Many business owners mistakenly think that they can just hire an attorney later on. Delaying the hiring of the right attorney to guide you and protect your interests early on can cost you money or even cause you to lose your business. As this video explains, waiting is not free. Early or proactive involvement of an attorney can save you significant costs in energy, time, money, reputation, and opportunity costs. Furthermore, if the situation becomes more complicated later on, the attorney may need to charge you a higher amount and/or higher hourly rates.
3. Mistaken Belief #3: The cheaper firm will do just as good of a job. There is a 50/50 chance that a cheaper firm will do a good job. Many times, Firms are cheaper because they either have inexperienced lawyers, will not pay attention to your case, have bad communication processes and protocols, or have insufficient staff or overhead to charge the market price. When it comes to an attorney, you usually get what you pay for, and should read their online reviews. If the vast majority of a Firm’s reviews are positive, you should be able to understand why they charge a higher rate. If they don’t charge high enough rates, then you need to consider whether they value themselves and whether they will be able to advocate for you when they don’t advocate for themselves.
4. Mistaken Belief #4: I can just get the forms online. There are several “legal” forms available online (whether free or for low cost); however, most business owners have no idea what documents are needed, what to look for in the documents, and whether these documents are any good. We have seen business owners use the incorrect forms too many times to count. Those business owners quickly learn that their decision to not invest in a lawyer early on is now costing them significantly more money.
5. Mistaken Belief #5: I can handle this myself. There is no worse decision a business owner can make than trying to handle a legal issue on their own. In litigation, courts go as far as not allowing companies to represent themselves. There are several reasons a business owner shouldn’t try to handle legal issues on their own, including: 1) the business owner usually lacks the necessary knowledge and understanding of legal nuances; 2) the owner is intimately involved in the situation and therefore lacks the necessary, objective perspective to implement the correct strategies; and/or 3) the owner’s statements can all potentially be treated as evidence that can unintentionally harm the company’s position.
You invest a lot of time, money, energy, and resources into your business. If you’re like most business owners, you do this for the promise that you will get a return on those investments and the promise of an increasingly better future.
The greatest value TLF provides its clients is our commitment to help clients protect those investments and the promise of that potential future.
Now is the right time to take action and retain TLF. We expect that in the future you will be thankful you did. Contact us today and get the help your business needs.